Samuel Vargas vs. Jussi Koivula
Vargas (28-3-1, 14 knockouts) is coming off the biggest victory of his career, a thrilling unanimous decision over three-time world title challenger Ali Funeka in August. The WBA-NABA champion displayed a blend of nuanced boxing skill, and raw aggression that's made him so popular in the Canadian boxing community. After coming up short against the best welterweights in the world, Errol Spence and Danny Garcia, Vargas has shown that he's continued to improve as a fighter and is ready for another shot.
Standing in his way is one of Europe's top welterweights, Jussi Koivula. The Finnish star has challenged for both the European and European Union titles in the past, but a bout with Vargas undoubtedly presents the biggest opportunity of his career.
Koivula (23-4-1, 9 KOs) was introduced to the Toronto audience during TIFF, when a critically acclaimed documentary film about his life "Daddy Loves You," aired during the festival. Prior to his successes in boxing, Koivula dealt with plenty of tragedy—losing both of his parents, and four members of his family in total to alcohol or drug abuse. Like so many before him, Koivula has found refuge in the sport of boxing.
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